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Pa. Senate Approves $1.8B Transportation Funding Measure

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(The Bridgeport Viaduct, in 2011.  Photo provided by Septa)

(The Bridgeport Viaduct, in 2011. Photo provided by Septa)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The Pennsylvania state Senate has passed and sent to the House a bill that would raise billions of new dollars for roads, bridges, and mass transit in the state.

The state senate approved a plan that would lift a cap on wholesale gasoline taxes and would increase vehicle fees and fines for moving violations (see related story).

It would raise about $700 million a year more for transportation than the $1.8-billion plan proposed by Governor Corbett, and is generally considered to be more expensive than many members of the House would like.

But the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, suburban Philadelphia Republican John Rafferty, says it will jumpstart negotiations.

“This piece of legislation –- us passing it today -– will get it over to the House [and] begin an in-earnest discussion with the House of Representatives about what they want to see in transportation funding,” Rafferty said.

But it remains to be seen whether an agreement can be reached by the House, Senate, and governor before lawmakers adjourn for the summer.


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